How about a new home?
COVER STORY—Author Lynne Golodner tells the moving story of a US Army veteran and her daughters who simply couldn’t manage a home of their own until Habitat for Humanity stepped in. And that’s not all! A host of other groups chimed in with labor and other forms of love and support. Read Lynne’s story, share it with others—and think about this: What can you build this spring? Let Lynne’s story inspire you and your friends.
WHERE IS YOUR PURPLE? Author Benjamin Pratt takes a step outdoors and finds himself bathed in the purple of spring. It’s such an important step to take for winter-weary caregivers, he writes.
- AND, IT’S ALL SO TIMELY! As Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports, May is Physical Fitness and Sports month (a time when we’re all urged to get active outdoors) and this is Older Americans Month (this year’s theme is Get into the Act by volunteering where you live).
ARE BAD ROADS GOOD FOR US?—University of Michigan sociologist Wayne Baker is fascinated that Michigan voters overwhelmingly voted against a tax increase to pave the state’s roads—even though Michigan has the words roads in the U.S. Somehow, he writes, there must be something good about bad roads?
- PART 1—Are bad roads a great cultural unifier?
- PART 2—Does the adversity build character?
- PART 3—Are bad roads good for our health?
- PART 4—Better driving skills?
- PART 5—Is this a stealth plan to shrink government?
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
DON’T MISS ONE—Bookmark (and tell friends about) www.InterfaithHolidays.com
- FAMILIES—The United Nation’s annual International Day of Families is an ideal opportunity to discuss the challenges facing millions of families worldwide.
- ASCENSION—Spanning more than a millennium, the Feast of the Ascension recalls the biblical story of Jesus rising into the sky 40 days after his resurrection. Around the world, Catholics especially mark this holiday.
THE HEROES—Find more than 100 stories at www.InterfaithPeacemakers.com
- TURNING TO EUROPE—International peace activist Daniel Buttry turns to Europe, in May, for stories about courageous peacemakers. Dan already has introduced British abolitionist Thomas Clarkson, German-Jewish scholar Moses Mendelssohn, and British philanthropist Moses Montefiore. This week, you’ll meet righteous heroes of the Holocaust era: Andre Trocme, Irena Sendler and Muslims in Albania.
- GUY CARAWAN—In the 1960s, Edward McNulty served in Mississippi in the civil rights movement and he recalls the musician Guy Carawan, who spread the song We Shall Overcome.
AND POPULAR CULTURE
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of faith-and-film reviews by Edward McNulty. Today, we publish the May issue of Visual Parables Journal, the monthly magazine Ed and his team have sold to subscribers for many years, packed with study guides for individual reflection or small group discussion.
- ‘THE WATER DIVINER’—In this WWI centennial year, Russell Crowe’s new film is both timely and thought provoking. (4 out of 5 stars)
- ‘LITTLE BOY’—Most critics don’t like this inspirational film; but Ed says it has some redeeming value. (3 stars)
- ‘AVENGERS’—Ed says it’s far more than a special-effects blockbuster. (4.5 stars)
- ‘EX MACHINA’—You’ll find similar themes in this science-fiction thriller. (4 stars)
FAITH GOES POP—The expansive mind of www.FaithGoesPop.com columnist Ken Chitwood brings us a truly cosmos-spanning column under the headline “Special SPORTS Extra Edition.” Ken is both a religious studies scholar and journalist and serves up news items including: Star Wars Icons, Rubgy’s “Honey Badger,” How Jesus Is Saving Prime Time—and the Hip Hop Last Supper.
STORIES THAT SHAPE OUR LIVES
“STORIES that shape your life” is a core theme at ReadTheSpirit. We’re inviting you to take part!
- MITCH HOROWITZ—The Tarcher-Penguin Editor in Chief was inspired by a book he discovered at age 7, called simply Stevie.
- THE CARDINAL—Kurt Kolka’s life is shaped by his comic hero The Cardinal. In BullyingIsNoLaughingMatter, we showed you Part 1 of Kurt’s comic. This week, we’re publishing Part 2. We also offer help for parents and teachers.
- EARLIER STORIES—Benjamin Pratt started this series with Bambi and The Wizard of Oz. Debra Darvick added A Hole Is to Dig. Sociologist Wayne Baker focused on the power of stories to inspire kids about the natural world.
- WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Come on! It’s your turn. Readers already are emailing us at [email protected] so, please: What’s your story?
IN THE WORLD
Good media builds healthy communities …
GOOD FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE—Bobbie Lewis devotes her FeedTheSpirit column this week to the brothers Max and Eli Sussman, who have become celebrity chefs by helping “real people” learn to cook good food.
AUTHORS CONNECT—Many of the authors we feature in our Cover Stories are intentionally connecting men and women every day. A terrific example is the Rev. Martha Spong, who talks with us about the 52 women who share real-life stories in There’s a Woman in the Pulpit. Martha’s organization RevGalBlogPals connects hundreds of women writing about ministry.
BOB ALPER—The author of Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This continues to criss-cross the nation and will perform next at Congregation Ahavas Israel in Grand Rapids, MI, on May 17th.
‘END THE SUFFERING’—The new video by Ken Wilson and the Third Way Newsletter team drew more than 1,000 viewers in its first 48 hours online—just by online word of mouth. Today we’re recommending: If you care about LGBT inclusion in churches—please watch this video, too, and share it with friends. The www.ThirdWayNewsletter.com is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women.
DR. DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind continues writing, including this helpful column about “Civility and Tolerance” in the Baptist Global News website.